Vacation Homes vs. Frequent Travel: A Comparison

Those that travel frequently, especially retirees, have many options to choose from in terms of accommodation. Many frequent travelers tend to visit the same area, creating a “home away from home”. Others are drawn to explore different regions. Let’s compare owning a vacation home vs. traveling frequently.

Vacationers looking for a consistent getaway, yet still wanting to feel at home should look into buying or renting vacation homes. Timeshares and vacation ownership can prove to be highly beneficial for these people. Most of these people tend to be wealthy or retired people. The term “snowbird” tends to fit the mold; someone who lives in an area that experiences unpleasantly cold winters, who travels south to warmer climates for the duration of the winter, just like the birds.

Many of the people who become involved with vacation homes tend to live in cities, and see their vacation home as a kind of “country getaway”. Such people own cabins on the lake or a timeshare down south. Traveling frequently to several new locations defeats the point of their getaways, which tend to be more of a relaxing retreat, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the complexity and stress of their everyday lives.

For these types of travelers, it would make perfect sense to invest in a single place. This vacation home would be seen as a base or a second home. Investing in a single place takes all of the work and planning out of traveling and vacationing. Comfort, consistency, and reliability are often motivating points when choosing to invest in a vacation home. Frequent visitors also find themselves becoming involved in the local community of their second home. Making friends and sewing ties in the community can lead to the vacation home becoming a real home. Deciding to permanently relocate to the vacation home after retirement is not uncommon.

Vacation homes aren’t for everyone, though, and there are some downsides to be considered. Although the reliability of having a single place to vacation may be the deciding factor, the vacationer may, after several trips to their vacation home, find that they need a vacation from their vacation home. To put it in other words, they feel bogged down by the predictability and the more they visit, the more the vacation home tends to morph into just another house.

A large group of frequent travelers tends to avoid the whole vacation home/timeshare idea. Many of these people tend to gravitate towards such methods as RV travel. They seek the comforts of home as well as the excitement of exploring new destinations. The rising costs of real estate in recent years is also pushing people away from any property-related commitments.

Traveling frequently and to different locations has become much more popular in recent years. The internet has largely contributed to this. Instead of revising the same town over and over again, one can take a few moments to browse the web and explore other areas. Traveling frequently offers a broader range of enriching experiences, since the vacationer will be exposed to many different areas, and depending on the scope of their travels, different cultures as well.

The rise of low-cost carriers and cheap airfare has opened the door to international travel for many people. Many are trading the timeshare in Florida for the homestay in Central America, where their money can go much further. Areas like this are also attractive for retirees looking to relocate to a place where they will have the ability to stretch their money and by effect, enjoy a more luxurious lifestyle.

Forgoing the financial commitment of a vacation home can open up unlimited avenues as far as travel destinations go. This all depends on the personality of the traveler and the purpose of their trips. People that want to relax and feel a sense of being at home will almost always tend to revisit the same location. The more adventurous travelers tend to visit a new location on every trip. Instead of returning to their vacation home every year, they take cruises in the Caribbean, tours of European capitals, and find themselves immersed in local culture and cuisine.

Comparing vacation homes and frequent travel largely comes down to the individual’s reasons for traveling and their interests. People with an affinity toward architecture and foreign cuisine will rarely be found returning to the same spot. On the other hand, people looking to simply get away and relax in a comfortable space tend to stay put and enjoy their home away from home.